Archive/Subscribe | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | Conference 2015 October 29, 2015  
Wella/ P & G Professional Care
Convention Highlights
Focusing on the Future
On the last day of the conference, we had a strong turnout for the President’s Breakfast/Town Hall Meeting. Although it was coming to a close, everyone was still excited and invested in being there and having meaningful connections and conversations. AACS President Don Yearwood said they decided to host the forum after being inspired by the NACCAS Call for Comment session.
"The board wanted to connect with you and be good listeners and wanted feedback and to answer questions," he said. "We did not want to miss this opportunity to have this face-to-face communication with our membership."

The moderator posed a few questions ranging from "What is the No. 1 reason you're a member of AACS?" to "What resources could AACS provide that would make the biggest impact?" Ultimately, the group broached tough topics such as membership retention, divisive among schools and associate members, low attendance of shows and the need for more transparency and communication between the board and membership. One member advised the board "not too grow too fast, too quick" and go back to the basics of a grassroots organization. Another urged lower convention fee prices. Other thoughts included AACS being more involved in changing public perception on going to beauty schools; receiving more updates on what the board is doing and how funds are being spent; and providing more assistance to owners searching for funding sources on state and federal levels.

Board members were very receptive to all the points and challenged the membership to not be afraid to join committees, provide feedback and work with the board to help it become the association you need it to be. Everyone agreed the support, collaboration and networking these shows provide are second to none and that sticking together through challenging times will keep the AACS strong and steady.

This wraps up ConventionLink and I hope you've found the daily recaps really helpful. From the app to the newsletter, we want to make sure your experience is informative, fun and memorable. Thanks for continuing to support AACS and the beauty school industry. As the Helen Keller quote goes, "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much." 

We look forward to seeing everyone back for the 2016 Convention & Expo: November 11 -14, 2016, Hilton Lake Buena Vista, Orlando!

Lashonda Curry 
BeautyLink editor
2015 AACS Convention Winners!
GRC Raffle 
The Government Relations Committee raffle was incredibly popular this year. All 800 tickets for the all-expense paid vacation packages were sold ($50 each) and they raised more money this year that at last year's convention. Here's who scored the big prizes:

• Dwight Cummings of Northwest College in Happy Valley, Oregon: San Diego (sponsored by Naylor Association Solutions) and 7-Day Caribbean Cruise, (sponsored by GEMCOR): 

• Dana Swanson of Remington Colleges, Inc., Heathrow, Florida: Las Vegas (Association of Cosmetology & Hairstyling Schools of NJ)

• Deborah John of DJA Financial Aid Services, Inc. Wichita, Kansas: New York City (sponsored by the New York State Beauty School Association)

President's Breakfast Door Prizes
• Tim Hornsby, Hornsby Group Western Hills School of Beauty & Hair Design: Trip to one AACS 2016 show (registration fee, hotel and airfare)
• Darlene Fox, The Artistic Academy of Hair Design and Fred Lockhart, Arizona Private School Association: Pivot Point International five-piece electrical styling kit with case.
• Melissa Forrest ,Your New School: $100 AMEX gift card donated by FAME
Closing Keynote: The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be, Dr. Steven J. Hausman
Futurist Dr. Steven J. Hausman enlightened and illuminated us on what the future holds for a myriad of technological advances in the world as well as the salon/beauty industry. 

From robots to drones to self-driving cars, Hausman offered a glimpse into a world where human beings are being replaced by artificial intelligence, machines and the convenience of automation. For example, there's ASIMO geared to help with house tasks and OSHBot designed for retail assistance. The hospitality industry has begin bringing them into the fold with the robot butler at the Aloft Hotel and Japan's Henn na Hotel ("strange hotel") with a primarily robotic staff. And surgical robots have been around awhile, but now healthcare is taking it to another level with robots transporting medicines, meals, recycling and waste, surgical instruments and lab specimens.

So what about our industry? Hausman said he believes "stylists will still be the key player," but technology will make its footprint. The idea of a hair-washing robot has already been created. The University of New Mexico is experimenting with hair color without using dye. L'Oreal is working to produce 3D-printed skin since animal-testing laws are being instituted more and more globally. So when robot receptionists find their way into salons, Hausman said, don't resist too much.

"Disruption is not necessarily a bad thing...when it occurs, look at it as an opportunity and not necessarily a problem," he advised.
Learning Session Highlights
Fishbowl — Starting New Programs
David Yocum and Steven Dawson offered a road map for schools to follow when seeking to incorporate new programs. Yocum of Bellus Academy shared his personal experience of successfully adding massage therapy to his school. 

• Do a market survey to find out if there is job demand for that field in your area. You can use tools such as Survey Monkey to tap your school's alumni and local salons. Submit a public records request to obtain a list from your state's cosmetology governing board and then email survey. 

"When you're thinking about adding programs, you have to do a lot of research. It's all about job demand." he said. "The better we are at adding programs to meet the job market, the better our schools will be."

• With all the different state rules and accrediting agencies, they strongly suggested getting to know the state regulatory board and then go to them to see what is required. If you need help, reach out to the representative assigned to your state on AACS' State Relations Committee (list at the bottom of webpage).
The session was a constant flow of conversation between the audience and presenters. They shared their successes, dilemmas and suggested ways to keep the dialogue going such as the AACS Listserve.
What They're Sayin'

Victoria Gallo Anthony, Wella School Program
During a time where people are feeling like they need to tighten the belt and focus on other things. I think it is, and should have been, a focus for most school owners to have at least one person come here, hear what's going on in terms of legal issues, regulatory issues and solutions and then hopefully find a few bright  spots of solutions in other categories. Not just focusing on the finances...but looking at other fun things to bring life back to their campuses where they might have instructors who are frustrated because enrollment is down or admissions is feeling the squeeze...It really should be a focus area for at least one person to come and attend and hear what's going on.

Blair Hopper, Freestyle Systems
First-time exhibitor
It's been really good. We talked to a lot of school owners and received very good responses. They can see the real value in our product...I really enjoyed the people, very nice people here.
Getting Social
Save Room for the Survey
Don't forget to check the app to take the surveys for the sessions and events you attended. The survey button is at the bottom of each session description. On the homepage of the app, select the menu button and click "Agenda." Select the sessions you attended for each day and at the bottom, click "TAKE SURVEY." For your convenience, the surveys are very short so please take a few minutes to complete.

Your feedback is so valuable in helping us offer you the best convention possible. Thanks!

We would appreciate your comments or suggestions.
Your email will be kept private and confidential.